Henry Cejudo – who won gold in freestyle wresting at Beijing in 2008 – has caused controversy with his comments ahead of Simone Biles’ return to action on Tuesday
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A former Olympic gold medalist has claimed Simone Biles needs “a nice kick in the a**” ahead of the gymnast’s return to action in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Biles pulled out of the team and individual all around finals to protect her mental health but will compete in the balance beam final as she bids to add her to her haul of Olympic medals.
The 24-year-old has been flooded with message of support for her openness and honesty, but her decision to withdraw from the events was not without criticism.
Speaking about Biles on a message posted on his Instagram page, Cejudo said Biles “really needs to check herself” and claimed “I think there’s time for a little bit of tough love”.
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Cejudo turned to MMA following his Olympic wrestling career and became a UFC champion.
“People say the media created her and you know they put upon this pressure. Not really,” he added. “They only give you a platform. It’s up to you to believe it and to accept it. If you start to think you’re the GOAT and the greatest of all time, then that’s on you.
“There [are] two things that pressure can do,” he said. “Pressure could either break, or it could make diamonds.
“Pressure could either bust pipes or it can create and make diamonds. You choose what to do for it, or what to do with it, remember that.
“Remember that there’s a reason why you are an Olympic champion. There’s nothing new. It’s all in you, you’re going against you, and I hope you can come back from that.”
At the time of his success in Beijing, he was the youngest American to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal aged just 21, a record beaten by Kyle Snyder was was 20 when he struck gold in Rio eight years later.
Biles withdrew from the events due to the ‘twisties’, similar to the ‘yips’ in golf, where gymnasts lose track of where they are in the air during a performance.
She said there was “more to life than gymnastics” as she took some time out to focus on her mental health.